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A shooting range is always used as such. At first, this space leaves no opportunities for imagination, and it is to the firearm instructor to overtake the first reflex that is to practice shooting accuracy.
But we need more. We need to know when not to shoot. As professionals encountering high-risk situations within public and private areas, shooting training is our distinctiveness. More than anything, our duty is to protect innocent people.
When a police officer has to fire his weapon within the scope of his duties, he doesn't treat black & white targets, colorful triangles, keels, balloons or zombies characters. He aims at a human being, and he only has a tenth of second to decide whereas to pull the trigger or not. The outcome may be death for one of them.
Therefore, it's a duty to prepare these men and women to face such a critical situation. Without such a training, how can we explain in front of justice, that our dedicated police officiers had to fire and never faced a human-like target before ?
Police forces don't play shooting games : they encounter life-threatening situations every day. For them, using realistic human-size targets is the less expensive way to train and protect themselves or others, in due time.
When police officers are trained at INDRA Academy, their shooting range is made with non-threatening targets (unarmed) mixed up with threatening ones (armed), without any warning. Asked about their choice to shoot a non-threatening target, every one of them tells us « because it's the one facing me ». Even as a target, they shot an innocent. That's their wake-up call.
Now we can work on everything else: firing positions fitting the shooter's course of action (i.e., walking, still, opening a door, etc.), the environment checking (is there an other threat ? An unknown accomplice ?), the offender's status (still armed after my warning ? Gun dropped ?).
All of these data are unforgiving on the field. The only limit is the offender's imagination and therefore, ours. That's why, as firearms instructors, our duty is to recreate the most realistic scenarii providing fictional but foreseeable arms engagements.
Because the hardest decision is not to shoot ; it's to know when not to shoot.
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